Mike Stevens | May 20, 2011

As development of the upcoming MINI Coupe and Roadster twins nears its end, the British carmaker is reportedly looking ahead to its next project: the Rocketman.

Reports out of MINI's homeland today sugest that the Rocketman concept - revealed at Geneva earlier this year - could enter the brand's line-up as a new and even smaller entry-level offering.

To keep development costs down, the production Rocketman would likely share its underpinnings with BMW's i3 city car - an approach that would also open the door to an all-electric version of the littlest MINI.

The potential for an electrified Rocketman was highlighted at the unveiling of the i3 concept earlier this year, with BMW confirming that the 'i' technology would be made available for the wider BMW group of brands.

According to Britain's Auto Express, the production Rocketman would retain the '3+1' seating arrangement, made up of three fixed seats and a short-trip fold-down seat behind the driver.

The Rocketman concept's styling would be toned down significantly, doing away with the Transformer-like doors and tailgate - and it would likely lose the hooped taillights and LED-ringed headlights also.

Whether the report can be believed is unclear, but the return of a truly mini MINI could help the brand mend fences with disenfranchised fans of the car's early days.

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